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New Brazilian biobutanol project starts up

A new biobutanol plant is being devised through a joint venture between chemical company Rhodia and next generation bio-based chemicals developer Cobalt Technologies.

The demonstration facility will be based in Brazil and is set to utilise Cobalt’s technology to convert bagasse and other local non-food feedstock in biobutnaol in Latin America.

‘This agreement puts us on a clear path towards commercialisation, which will result in the development of the first commercial-scale biorefinery using bagasse as a feedstock for the production of biobutanol,’ says Cobalt CEO Bob Mayer. ‘Our corporate values and goals are aligned with Rhodia's, plus their experience in the global chemical markets and in Latin America itself position us well.’

Work on the project will begin in August and will move to a mill site in the new year, with operational testing expected to be completed by mid-2013.